Dinosaurs are fascinating creatures. Even with their extinction, humans still tend to be amazed by the glimpse one can get from fossils and movies. One of these famous predatory dinosaurs is the Allosaurus. Allosaurus is often depicted in art as having longer forelimbs than Tyrannosaurus Rex, with three fingers rather than two. Being a notorious hunter, it would be interesting to know what dinosaurs interacted with them.
So, what dinosaurs lived with Allosaurus? Allosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic Period, 145-155 million years ago. Dinosaurs that lived in the same time frame in North America were carnivores like Saurophaganax and Ceratosaurus. Also, the sauropods Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus, and armored dinosaurs like Stegosaurus existed. Smaller ornithopods like Camptosaurus also lived then. Allosaurus lived millions of years before the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Studies of fossils have provided a great deal of information about the past. Like today, dinosaurs could have interacted with other dinosaurs (excluding humans, of course), just like we do today.
There was a time when the Allosaurus lived side-by-side with some very fearsome dinosaurs, as well as plenty of prey that it hunted at the time. All this will be covered in this article, so let’s get started.
Places Allosaurus Might Have Roamed Based on Fossils
Allosaurus fossils have been found in North America, Europe, and Africa. Many of them were found in North America.
The places where fossils are found are concrete evidence of the presence of this organism in that site. Allosaurus was a carnivorous dinosaur. It lived in Africa, Europe, and North America during the Jurassic period. Its fossils have been discovered in Utah, North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), and Nebraska, among other sites.
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In 1869, an Allosaurus fossil was discovered near Granby, Colorado, most likely in the Morrison Formation strata. F.V. Hayden, who bought the fossil secondhand, gave Leidy the fragment of tail vertebrae. (Source)
The fossil was initially assigned to a European genus, but Leidy later changed his mind and assigned it to Antrodemus.
O.C. Marsh named Allosaurus fragilis in 1877.
Allosaurus is a Greek word that means ‘different lizard.’ Marsh analyzed vertebral fragments from the collection that had characteristics that made the vertebrae lighter, hence the epithet, ‘fragilis.’
A 95 percent complete Allosaurus skeleton was discovered near Shell, Wyoming, in 1991 by a Swiss team. “Big Al” was the name given to the skeleton (MOR 693). “Big Al” is a well-known figure in the public eye. One of the best-preserved Allosaurus specimens was also found by the Swiss team. (Source)
They discovered it in 1996 and dubbed it “Big Al Two.” Breithaupt characterized “Big Al” as having 19 bones with pathology such as breaks and infections (osteomyelitis).
More coastlines evolved in the Jurassic. The continental climate became more tropical, and dinosaurs started to dominate the land over Triassic crocodylomorph descendants. (Source)
Theropods gave rise to birds, crocodylians to aquatic niches, and marine reptiles to the seas.
The Morrison Formation in western North America is home to Allosaurus. The formation depicts semi-arid floodplains and riverine forests. Some seasons were rainy and dry.
YouTube Video About Allosaurus
Other Evidence of Allosaurus Existence
The discovery and early study of Allosaurus are complicated by the many names coined during the late 1800s Bone Wars. In history, the first described fossil was a bone obtained secondhand by Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden in 1869.
It was found in Middle Park, near Granby, Colorado, and was most likely formed by Morrison Formation rocks. The bones were identified as “petrified horse hoofs” by the locals.
Through years of expedition, scientists recovered a small collection of fragmentary bones consisting of parts of three vertebrae, a rib fragment, a tooth, a toe bone, and the shaft of the right humerus (upper arm).
Skeletal variation, growth, skull construction, hunting methods, the brain, and the possibility of gregarious living and parental care have all been studied by researchers to get evidence and new information on Allosaurus existence and way of life. Since 1988, seven species have been considered potentially valid (A. amplexus, A. atrox, and A. europaeus, the type species).
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What Dinosaurs Lived in North America When Allosaurus Lived?
North America is one of the areas where many dinosaur fossils are found. These fossils are for sure not just of Allosaurus but possibly of other dinosaurs too.
Dinosaurs That Coexisted with Allosaurus
As mentioned above, Allosaurus lived during the Late Jurassic Period, 145 – 155 million years ago. So taking this snapshot of some 10 million years, the dinosaurs fossils that have been found in this same period are the following:
● Carnivorous Theropods- giant meat-eating dinosaurs like Saurophaganax, Ceratosaurus, and Torvosaurus
● Herbivorous Sauropods– giant sauropods like Apatosaurus and Diplodocus
● Herbivorous Armored Dinosaurs – Spiked tail Stegosaurus and clubbed-tail Ankylosaurus
● Herbivorous two-legged theropods – Othnielia and Dryosaurus
● Sauropods – Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, and Brachiosaurus
● Flying Reptiles – Pterosaurs Utahdactylus and Dermodactylus
Being a ferocious dinosaur, it also lived with and some. It lived years before the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex. Saurophaganax, compared to Allosaurus, is a ferocious dinosaur at par with its size. At the same time, Allosaurus was more agile and faster, relying on speed primarily to hunt. (Source)
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What Dinosaurs Did Allosaurus Hunt? How Good a Hunter Was Allosaurus?
One of the most critical abilities predators possess is hunting. To be a good hunter means that you maintain good stealth skills in getting prey items you need. It will also include strategic and swift movements.
Allosaurus Predation Features and Abilities: Its Hunting Skill
Allosaurus weighed two tons and grew to a length of 10.5 meters (35 feet), though fossils suggest that some individuals might have grown to 12 meters. Like all theropod dinosaurs, it had a well-developed tail that spanned half of its body length, and it was a biped.
It had powerful hind limbs and a large pelvis. The forelimbs were smaller than the hind limbs but not as small as tyrannosaur forelimbs. Three fingers ended in sharp claws on the forelimbs, which were most likely used for gripping.
A broad roughened ridge just in front of the eye distinguishes the allosaur skull. The skull was broad, with sharp and recurved teeth that were laterally compressed.
The head of Allosaurus had two hinges. It was able to open its mouth incredibly wide, giving it a massive bite radius. One hinge was located near the front of the jawbone in its jaw, and the other was located near the back.
Despite being much more prominent, recent studies indicate that Allosaurus had a relatively low bite force. Although it has a giant skull, Allosaurus had a weaker bite than alligators, tigers, and leopards, according to a report published in the journal Nature in 2001.
Some scientists say the dinosaur used its skull as a hatchet, slamming its upper jaws into its prey and then ripping flesh out with its slashing teeth. It’s thought that Allosaurus engaged in cooperative social activity, such as hunting in packs.
At the same time, they also believe that Allosaurus fossils are grouped due to violent action or because individuals were consuming the same kill. The dinosaur would have used its skull to slam down prey like a hatchet, inflicting massive bleeding.
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Dinosaurs Allosaurus Hunted
– possibly Brachiosaurus
● Armored dinosaurs
● Small Ornithopods
Allosaurus may have also been a scavenger, feeding on the carcasses of dead or dying creatures. They most probably preyed mainly on massive herbivorous dinosaurs. It also preyed on the injured and sick sauropods on its way.
It was most likely not a predator of fully grown sauropods unless it hunted in packs because it had a small skull and small teeth and was outweighed by contemporaneous sauropods.
In the Jurrasic, Allosaurus was not the only apex predator. It had to contend with other predators such as Saurophaganax and Ceratosaurus and Torvosaurus. They were not only larger but also fierce rivals. It couldn’t take down sauropods, but it was an excellent predator for smaller animals.
Allosaurus indeed is one of a kind dinosaur among other carnivorous dinos that lived during prehistoric times. Knowing who we’re, the dinosaurs coexisting within an area, and how they can hunt is something to quench our dinosaurs’ curiosity. Although it might have lived with them in bad terms due to prey competition more often than good relationships, it will give us a glimpse of what we might be looking at if we see the past today.
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● I’ve written a whole article about which dinosaur was the best hunter, and one of them was the Allosaurus, an apex predators being at the highest levels of the food chain.
● If you are interested in which dinosaurs were the smartest and how this intelligence helped predators become better hunters, I’ve written an article which explains that the Allosaurus species is a large meat-eating dinosaur and one of the smartest hunters.